Written by Kieran Proctor

Extending A Colombian Tourist Visa In 2024 (online)

Colombia, with its vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes and welcoming people, has become a popular destination for tourists, digital nomads and ...

Colombia, with its vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes and welcoming people, has become a popular destination for tourists, digital nomads and expats alike. However, extending your stay beyond the standard 90-day tourist visa can be a bit confusing.

This guide will walk you through the process of extending your Colombian tourist visa online. So you can enjoy this South American gem for up to 180 days per calendar year.

Understanding Colombian Tourist Visas

Before diving into the extension procedure, it’s important to understand what a Colombian tourist visa is. When citizens from over 90 countries enter Colombia, they are not given a formal visa, but rather an entry stamp in their passport. This stamp acts as a ‘tourist permit’ and is valid for up to 90 days.

Although I will refer to this as a ‘tourist visa’ for the sake of simplicity, it is technically a permit. The Colombian government offers more than 20 different types of visas, each requiring specific applications.

Extending A Colombian Tourist Visa
Colombian Tourist Entry Stamp

How Long Can You Stay in Colombia as a Tourist?

Under Colombian law, tourists are allowed to stay in the country for a maximum of 180 days per calendar year (from January 1 to December 31). This means the initial 90-day tourist permit can be extended by an additional 90 days.

However, it’s important to note that you cannot stay in Colombia for more than 180 days consecutively, even if this spans across two calendar years. For example, if you arrive in Colombia on November 1, you must depart by the end of February, irrespective of the year.

When Should You Apply for a Tourist Visa Extension?

I recommend initiating the extension process at least 10 days before your initial 90-day permit expires. This allows ample time for any potential delays or issues. Applying late could result in a loss of the opportunity to extend your stay without leaving the country and Migraci贸n Colombia could impose a fine.

Extending Your Colombian Tourist Visa Online

The Colombian government has automated the process for extending your tourist visa, saving you a trip to the Migraci贸n Colombia office. You can initiate the extension process through the official Migraci贸n Colombia website.

No matter where you are in the country (Bogot谩, Medell铆n, Cartagena), to extend your Colombian tourist visa online, visit the Migration Colombia website.

Visit the Migraci贸n Colombia Website

To begin the extension process, visit the official Migraci贸n Colombia website and select the ‘Formulario 脷nico de Tr谩mites (FUT)’ option. Next, in the section labelled ‘Tipo de tr谩mite‘ choose the ‘Permiso Temporal de Permanencia para Prorrogar Permanencia‘ option.

Although the website offers an English version, many users have reported issues with it. And it has never worked for me. Therefore, I recommend using the Spanish version, even if it means brushing up on your Spanish or using a translator tool.

Extending a tourist visa online in Colombia
Choose the 鈥Permiso Temporal de Permanencia para Prorrogar Permanencia鈥 option.

Prepare and Upload Your Documents

You will be asked to upload several documents as part of your application. Ensure these are scanned and saved in PDF format, as the website does not accept other file types. The total size of your PDF files should not exceed 1 MB.

The required documents include:

  • A copy of your passport’s information page
  • A copy of your most recent Colombian entry stamp
  • Proof of onward travel from Colombia, such as a flight confirmation email

If you are traveling with a child, you will also need to submit the child’s birth certificate and a copy of one parent’s passport information page.

Receive Confirmation and Pay the Colombian Visa Fee

After submitting your application, you should receive a response within 1-2 business days. If your application is approved, you will need to pay a fee of 110,000 Colombian pesos (COP). This fee is waived for citizens of Schengen countries in Europe.

The approval email will contain instructions on how to pay. You can make the payment online, at a Banco Occidente bank or at a Migraci贸n Colombia office. Personally, I always pay online with a Wise borderless bank account.

Receive Approval of Your Colombian Tourist Permit Extension

Once your payment has been confirmed, you will receive a PDF via email indicating that your tourist permit has been extended. Print this document and keep it with your passport.

You will need this document when you exit the country. And Western Union may ask for it anytime you use their services to access cash in Colombia.

What If You Overstay Your Tourist Visa in Colombia?

Overstaying your tourist permit in Colombia can lead to serious consequences, including fines and potential deportation.

If you have overstayed your permit, you should visit a Migraci贸n Colombia office at least three days before your planned departure to pay the fine and apply for a ‘salvoconducto’ or temporary permit. This permit allows you to remain in Colombia legally until your departure.

It’s important to avoid overstaying your permit whenever possible, as the fines can be hefty and start at 1,400,000 COP.

Can You Work in Colombia on a Tourist Visa?

While you’re in Colombia on a tourist permit, you’re not allowed to engage in formal employment or work for any Colombian institution. However, online jobs or informal work in tourist-oriented areas such as hostels are common among tourists and digital nomads.

Use a Wise borderless bank account while in Colombia to pay and be paid. The Wise bank card has the best exchange rates in Colombia.

Staying in Colombia for Longer than 180 Days

If you wish to stay in Colombia for more than 180 days, you will need to apply for a different type of visa. This could include a student visa, a work visa or even a visa obtained by marrying a Colombian citizen. Each of these visas has its own specific requirements and application processes.

The route that most expats in Colombia take to stay permanently in Colombia, is the investor visas obtained by purchasing real estate in Bogot谩, Medell铆n, Cali or Cartagena. And it’s why I am currently purchasing real estate in Bogot谩.

Conclusion – Tourist Visas in Colombia

Extending your Colombian tourist visa is a straightforward process, especially with the government’s move to online applications. By following the steps in this guide, you can enjoy the beauty and culture of Colombia for a full 180 days.

Remember, it’s always important to follow Colombia’s immigration laws and regulations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience. And if you’re unsure or need professional legal or migration advice while in Colombia, I recommend reaching out to someone like Alan Gongora at Langon Law Group LLC.

Where Can I Get More Information On Bogot谩?

If you鈥檙e planning to visit Bogot谩 on your next vacation, or you鈥檙e simply interested in Colombia in general, you should read my Bogot谩 City Guide.

My Bogot谩 City Guide is updated regularly. And it seeks to answer all of your questions regarding Bogot谩 and Colombia in one place. Read my Complete Bogot谩 City Guide.